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Breaking News in the Industry: April 15, 2016

Turning Point Justice Announces New Advisory Board Members

Turning Point Justice (TPJ), a rapidly growing technology company that assists victims of crime, communities, and law enforcement agencies through restorative justice, continues to build a strong foundation through the addition of an esteemed group of advisors to the executive team. This respected group of subject-matter experts will serve as advisors to the executive team at Turning Point Justice regarding current product offerings; while providing guidance and strategic direction as we move forward with future products. [LP Magazine]

Local Police Focus on Shoplifting

Police in Spartanburg, South Carolina are working to crack down on shoplifting in the area, a trend they said has been fueled of late by drug abusers. In the first three months of 2016, police said there were 232 shoplifting cases, nearly half of them at the Walmart on Dorman Centre Rd. Last year in total, there were 907 incidents. Investigator Eric Gallman said he has been investigating the crimes since January. He said many of them seem to have one thing in common: Drug addicts are stealing items form stores and selling the stolen goods to dealers in exchange for a fix. He added thieves have found creative ways to steal, especially from Walmart stores within the city. Gallman said there are several organized shoplifting rings in the city. In the last five years, nearly a quarter million dollars of merchandise was stolen in Spartanburg from retail stores, investigators said. Only $69,000 has been recovered.Gallman said the rise in shoplifting could affect consumers’ wallets. [Live5News]

Alibaba Joins Anti-Counterfeit Coalition

The Chinese e-commerce company, which has repeatedly come under fire from industry groups for selling counterfeit goods on its Taobao and Tmall platforms, has joined the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), a nonprofit dedicated to combating product counterfeiting and piracy. According to a press release Wednesday, Alibaba is the first e-commerce company to join the coalition. “Preserving the integrity of Alibaba’s marketplaces is a top priority. Counterfeiting is a global, industry-wide issue and effective collaboration with brands, retailers, trade associations, governments and other industry partners is a key component to our overall success,” offered Matthew Bassiur, Alibaba’s vice president and head of global IP enforcement since last December. [Sourcing Journal]

- Digital Partner -

Retail Sales Disappoint, But There Is Some Reason for Apparel Optimism

Retail sales fell short of expectations in March, including another bleak performance from struggling department stores. Yet there was some reason for optimism for certain players in the sector. A consumer survey released by Credit Suisse on Wednesday found that clothing retailers — particularly those with a fashion focus — could finally receive the boost they so desperately need. According to the firm, which questioned 2,000 consumers with the help of Lucid analytics, fashion apparel ranked as the second most important category to consumers this year, falling short only of intimates. Likewise, the category scored second as the category consumers expect to spend more on this year, again coming in behind intimates. The results should be welcome news to apparel retailers, who have struggled to generate sales amid a confluence headwinds [CNBC]

US Regulators Probe Retailers’ On-Call Scheduling

U.S. regulators have asked 15 retailers, including Aeropostale Inc., American Eagle Outfitters Inc., Coach Inc. and Walt Disney Co., to discuss whether they use a controversial practice of canceling shifts of hourly workers with almost no notice. The attorneys general of eight U.S. states and Washington sent letters dated Wednesday seeking information about “on-call” scheduling, where workers dial their employers an hour or two before their scheduled shifts to learn whether they should show up. Such scheduling can help retailers save money by avoiding over-staffing during slow periods, while ensuring they have enough staffing when stores are crowded. But according to the letters, workers can be harmed by “unpredictable” work schedules because they can increase stress, strain family life, and make it harder to arrange child care or pursue an education. The letters also say on-call scheduling may violate state labor laws requiring workers to be paid for at least part of a day even if they are told to stay home, and is not a “business necessity” given that some chains have abandoned the practice. [NewsMax]

Tax Day Confusion Explained

If you’re scrambling to finish your tax return by the end of the day, relax. You’ve got a few more days to file. The usual April 15 filing deadline has been pushed pack to April 18 for 2016. That’s Monday. The switch applies to both federal and state returns. You can thank the Emancipation Day Holiday in the District of Columbia for the extra time. Emancipation Day is a celebration of the anniversary of the Compensated Emancipation Act. Signed by President Abraham Lincoln on April 16, 1862, the act freed 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia. Since April 16 is a Saturday this year, the holiday is celebrated today, April 15. And since the Internal Revenue Service is based in the District of Columbia, the tax filing deadline was switched to Monday. (In Massachusetts and Maine, the deadline is Tuesday, April 19, because Monday is Patriots Day in those states.) Taxpayers who need even more time to complete their federal returns can request an automatic six-month extension. That can be done electronically through the Free File Link on The request must be filed by April 18 (April 19th for residents of Maine or Massachusetts.) []

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